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Big League Stew

A-Rod’s name removed from Brooklyn store

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

Here's something new. An A-Rod story that doesn't directly involve Biogenesis or his health, and doesn't includes comments from lawyers, the New York Yankees, or even Major League Baseball.

Earlier this month, a youth complex in Appleton, WI, where Alex Rodriguez began his minor league baseball career, removed A-Rod's name from their facility effective immediately after Major League Baseball formally announced his 211-game suspension. It makes sense, because honestly, who would want their kids playing on a field named in A-Rod's honor after everything that's gone on over the past 18 months?

Not many.

Now, take that same thought process and apply it to grocery shopping. Who would want to shop in a grocery named after A-Rod?

I can tell you how the people of Brooklyn would answer that question. Nobody. Or at least not the vocal majority, because according to a New York Daily News report, Ricardo Rodriguez's customers at A-Rod Grocery have given him so much grief and put so much pressure on him recently, he's had no choice but to change the name of his store.

“I got tired of all these people complaining,” said Rodriguez, who's no relation to A-Rod, told the Daily News.

“Why should I have to listen to all of them? It’s not fair. I don’t even know the guy.”

Well, yes, I do understand where Rodriguez is coming from with his comments. By the same token, he's the one who decided to name his store after a professional athlete. He had to know it wouldn't always be the most popular name, but here's what I find ironic about the whole situation. Rodriguez actually named the store years before A-Rod even joined the Yankees.

From the Daily News:

A-Rod was the best player in baseball 13 years ago when Ricardo Rodriguez changed the name of his bodega from Pena Grocery in honor of the then-Seattle Mariners star.

The Dominican community in Clinton Hill cheered the news.

“When he moved to New York, a lot of people got excited,” Ricardo Rodriguez said. “They thought he owned the place.”

Not so much. But hey, maybe we're on to something for A-Rod's post baseball life.

Anyway, the next logical question to ask is what will Ricardo Rodriguez call his store now that the A-Rod name is coming off the sign. Will he play it safe and go back to Pena Grocery? Would he dare go the baseball player route again and name it after Derek Jeter or maybe even Miguel Cabrera? We don't have that answer just yet, but regardless of the new name you can bet this will go down as the most notable grocery store name change in Brooklyn history.

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